HQ’s CEO Sounds Perfectly Normal

Well this is bizarre. The CEO of the company that owns the mobile video trivia app I wrote about just last week,  Rus Yusupov, threatened to fire the game show’s most popular host (Scott Rogowsky) if a reporter ran a profile about the host.

Taylor Lorenz:

Scott agreed to the interview and chatted with The Daily Beast on Monday afternoon. The Daily Beast simultaneously reached out to the HQ public relations email account and Yusupov, one of HQ’s founders, letting him know of our plans to write a story about the show’s host.

Several hours later, we received an email from Yusupov stating that HQ was “not making Scott available to discuss his involvement with HQ with the media/press.” The reporter informed Yusupov that we had already interviewed Scott and that the story was nearing publication, but encouraged him to call us with any concerns.

That’s when things went off the rails.

Yusupov, the CEO of HQ, called the reporter’s cellphone and immediately raised his voice. He said that we were “completely unauthorized” to write about Scott or HQ without his approval and that if we wrote any type of piece about Scott, he would lose his job.

The rest of the article gets even more outrageous. A friend wondered if  Yusupov’s reaction was inauthentic and intended to get more people reading about his trivia game, and I really don’t think so. HQ is run twice daily during the week and the next game after this article was published was late due to “technical difficulties” and Rogowsky’s on-air behavior once the game finally started was a little awkward early on.

HQ Trivia

There is a trivia game show on the iPhone called HQ. It’s a live video program broadcasted every weekday at 9AM and 3PM HST. They’ve got different hosts, but usually there are decent comedians doing the work of dolling out trivia questions and keeping people playing along. When I first tried the game out, it was up to a few thousand players, today it’s in the tens of thousands.

What makes this different from other trivia games is that live host, but also that players win real money. $250 or $500 is pretty small once it’s split enough times, I won $2.14 today. You cash out through PayPal (ugh) once you hit $20.

Even with the small payouts it is still thrilling to play a game show live along with thousands of other people.

HQ is a free download on iOS, it requires a working phone number to register but you can use any service that generates a number.